Einride, the Swedish manufacturer responsible for the very slick self-driving Pod EV trucks, is finally coming to the U.S. thanks to a partnership with GE Appliances. Announced earlier this week, Einride will be providing its first stateside fleet of Pod trucks to GE’s 750-acre Appliance Park campus in Louisville, Kentucky, before expanding to other sites in Tennessee and Georgia.
“This marks an important milestone for the freight industry in the U.S., as it’s the first time an autonomous, electric, and remote-operated pod system is being installed on the scale in North America,” Einride CEO Robert Falck says. “The system will allow GEA to reduce its environmental footprint and reap the benefits of Einrides' world-leading technology.” Einride and GE Appliances predict that the new fleet will save around 970 tons of CO2 emissions within the first year alone.
Autonomous vehicles are approaching — After years of overpromises and false starts, it seems like self-driving vehicles are finally entering the public sphere (... just not from Tesla). Earlier this month, California approved autonomous taxis from both Waymo and Cruise, and even made sure to pass a law requiring all future self-driving vehicles to also be fully electric.
Autonomous delivery trucks are also coming outside of the Einride-GE Appliances deal: FedEx is currently testing out a truck route in Texas, while Walmart is looking into similar projects for Miami, Washington D.C., and Austin through a partnership with Ford.
About that Tesla Autopilot — Most of these tech leaps are pretty impressive. Most of them. As we mentioned, Tesla’s situation is another story entirely. After promising the moon regarding its Autopilot program, the EV company’s self-driving capabilities were actually so bad that execs retracted its beta test results. They also have a nasty habit of slamming into other cars on the road, including a few police cruisers.